By DWIGHT DE LEON | Rappler
The effort from the poll body comes as it faces constant reminders to guarantee the safety of voters against COVID-19 on May 9, 2022
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will conduct on Sunday, September 19, a voting simulation to be hosted by Pasay City to determine what processes are needed to ensure the safety of Filipinos who will vote in the 2022 national and local elections.
The polls set on May 9, 2022 are looming to be the first elections in the country of this magnitude to be held during a pandemic.
The Pasay Public Information Office provided reporters on Thursday, September 16, a copy of the letter sent by Comelec to Pasay Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano. The letter asked for authority to conduct the voting simulation in the city.
"The conduct of the said voting simulation is essential in making an assessment to determine the policy and process on how the election shall be conducted while we are in the midst of the pandemic, taking into account the health protocols and safety of every qualified Filipino citizen who will participate in the 2022 [elections]," Pasay 1st District election officer Ronald Santiago said in his letter to Rubiano on Tuesday, September 14.
He added that residents from two barangays who were registered voters in the 2019 polls would participate in the whole-day voting simulation.
Comelec Deputy Executive Director Teopisto Elnas, Jr. previously told the House suffrage and electoral reforms panel that a time-motion study to be conducted on Sunday in Pasay would involve four clustered precincts.
"Some 2,772 voters will be involved. We will look at the flow of the voting, queueing, and the way voters are handled outside voting centers," Elnas said in a mix of English and Filipino on September 9.
The Comelec is under pressure to ensure that the May 9, 2022 vote has enough safety measures to prevent coronavirus infections.
A Pulse Asia survey in June revealed that 46% of Filipinos were unwilling to go out and vote on election day next year, should their barangays log a high number of COVID-19 cases. – Rappler.com